Revamping Your Resume, Part 1: Let’s Get Ready to Résumé

So it’s time to update your resume. We recognize that this might not top your list of things you look forward to doing when you get home from work (and frankly, we might worry about you if it did), and indeed, this can be a daunting task. But this is an important document that’s going to be with you throughout your career—opening doors for you along the way, if it’s doing its job—so you might as well develop a positive relationship with it, right?

We’ll be sharing a series of resume tips over the next few months to help you do just that. With the right skills and strategic sensibility, writing or updating your resume can be an easy, rewarding and, dare we say, fun activity. To start, let’s talk big picture.

Your resume (also spelled résumé, if you’re a fan of special characters) is many things: a record of your academic, work, and personal pursuits, a necessity for job and business school applications, a synopsis of your academic and professional “greatest hits,” a basis for evaluation, and a marketing document. Those last two points are especially important. When you’re applying to an academic program or for a job, your evaluator will likely encounter your resume before he or she meets you. And so you need for your resume to be a good ambassador, to share the right kind of information about your background and accomplishments—and to look put-together while doing so—to make an admissions officer or hiring manager eager to learn more. To summarize, writing your resume is ultimately an exercise in tasteful self-promotion.

The tips we’ll be offering in this column will be tailored to preparing your resume for the MBA admissions process, but much of this advice will also be general best practice, so even if you’re only contemplating a b-school application, you’ll be able to optimize your existing resume in the meantime.

We’ll be back with the first of our detailed tips next week, but here are some broad guidelines to check your resume against while you wait:

  • It should be one page in length (unless you have more than 10 years of post-college work experience)
  • It should have three broad content areas: Education, Work Experience, and a third section that includes community/volunteer/leadership activities and personal interests
  • Content within each section should appear in reverse chronological order (so, most recent first) and should be formatted in bullet points, not paragraphs

So far, so good? Stay tuned for format and layout guidelines in our next installment! For now, here’s a cute dog meme to get you excited about all the resume revamping you have ahead of you.

regions: / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

About the Author

Let us find your Program match!!

  • Please only indicate the regions you are interested in pursuing your degree. If you select, "all regions" you do not need to select individual regions.
  • Looking for help? Check the box(es) below!
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Your compare list